Saturday, March 26, 2016

Canyonlands trails

Last weekend the weather was gorgeous and I went to Canyonlands park in Lakeway.  This was only my second time running the trails and I get nervous running trails alone; after dislocating my finger and ripping up my ankle during a rocky race, I get skittish about rocky trails.

I parked on Trophy Drive to enter the Canyonlands Park (tons of street parking and easy to find) both times; the trails were very beautiful and peaceful and nearly empty.  

The trails I ran lead to "Mount Lakeway" and that rocky climb is supposedly one of the best climbs in the area. 

On New Years Day, since Alan has not been running, I opted to keep us on flat land with fewer rocks.  Since the prior weeks had been very tough, a run was a fantastic way to share a beautiful day out in nature together and focus our minds on the beauty of God's creation.  “Let me run loose and free, celebrating God’s great work...’” (Psalm 35:9, MSG)

Views from Pond Trail

Not sure what trail but many are like this in the Canyonlands

This weekend I needed time to clear my head and challenge myself more than I did when running with Alan; I typically run with a trail map and I did not this time.  I regretted that when I could not figure out which trail led me to the Mount Lakeway trail.  The trails are not extremely well marked and many are short, so getting turned around is easy.

This would have been useful during the run.

I did some backtracking but finally got saw the sign pointing me to the Mount Lakeway trail.  After running on it less than a mile, it appeared to end at a rocky wide path leading uphill; since there were no signs and rocky paths go to the left and right, I was unsure if I was to climb uphill along the power lines or not.  

Do I go straight up this trail?!

I started climbing and then saw a trail to the right that meandered through the trees; I took that path and it was beautiful.  Eventually it ended and I started climbing the rocky path along the power lines again.  When it got steep with drop offs, I turned around.  Since the trails were deserted and I was not sure if I was going the right way, I decided to play it safe on the rocky terrain. 

I wish that the trails were better marked since it's very easy to get lost since there are tons of rocky jeep roads (assuming due to the power plant and lines).  All in all, it was a good exploration run -- took it super easy and did not sprain an ankle. :)

After getting home, I found a trail map that I compared to my Garmin mapping data; it looks like I was going the right way when I was climbing up the telephone pole area and that the trail connects or will connect to others in the area!  Maybe I have found trails like I had in Orange County, CA--- tons of miles possible without running the same trails twice?!

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